Histone variants: are they functionally heterogeneous?
Department of Biochemistry, University of Mississippi Medical Center, Jackson, MS 39216, USA
Genome Biology 2001, 2:reviews0006-reviews0006.6 doi:10.1186/gb-2001-2-7-reviews0006Published: 5 July 2001
In most eukaryotes, histones, which are the major structural components of chromatin, are expressed as a family of sequence variants encoded by multiple genes. Because different histone variants can contribute to a distinct or unique nucleosomal architecture, this heterogeneity can be exploited to regulate a wide range of nuclear functions, and evidence is accumulating that histone variants do indeed have distinct functions.